New Delhi: The Supreme Court will hear the ED’s plea challenging the Delhi High Court order granting interim protection to Karti Chidambaram, son of Congress leader P Chidambaram, in a money laundering case related to the INX Media corruption matter on March 15.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud today considered the Enforcement Directorate’s submission for urgent hearing of its appeal and said it would be heard day after tomorrow. Advocate Rajat Nair, appearing for the probe agency, mentioned the ED’s appeal for urgent hearing.
On March 9, the Delhi High Court gave Karti Chidambaram a breather in a money laundering case and restrained the ED from arresting him till March 20. A CBI court yesterday sent Karti Chidambaram to judicial custody till March 24. The court also refused his plea for urgent hearing on his bail plea which was already listed for March 15.
Following the high court order, he cannot be arrested by the ED if the CBI court grants him bail on March 15. Karti Chidambaram has approached the high court to strike down the powers of arrest of the ED under Section 19 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) as unconstitutional and in violation of Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution, which deal with the rights of people for equality before law and protection of personal liberty.
The plea sought quashing of the enforcement case information report (ECIR) and probe by the ED for the offences under the PMLA. It sought quashing of the probe by the ED, alleging that it was contrary to the procedure established by law and violates Karti Chidambaram’s fundamental rights.
The ED had registered a case against Karti Chidambaram and others in May last year. It had registered an ECIR, the ED’s equivalent of an FIR, against the accused named in the CBI complaint. These accused included Karti Chidambaram, INX Media and its directors, Peter and Indrani Mukerjea.